fireplace ideas

The Fireplace Design Can Tie A Room Together

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Ever since man started living under a roof, the fireplace has been the focal point of any living area. It was where people would gather to warm themselves, and often it was where the home’s cooking was done.

The open fire is relaxing, comforting and almost hypnotic on a chilly evening, and attracts attention when the conversation slows and the night wears on.

Today, with the advent of central heat, most people don’t really depend on the fireplace to heat a room. Still, there’s nothing that can compare to the smell, the sound and the visual appeal of a crackling, roaring fire in the fireplace. When the fireplace is considered as a decorative element, fireplace ideas and mantle décor are usually conceived of as a way to complement the rest of the room.

What’s your living room or den like? Is it casual and homey, or a little more formal? Modern and urban, or more rustic?  Do you use the fireplace often? We’ve got some great fireplace and fireplace mantel ideas to run past you.

Fireplace Design Ideas

  • If you prefer to use the fireplace as a heat source for the room, there are ways to make it quite a bit more efficient. Some fireplace units are built with a blower that can move the fire’s heat via convection for more evenly-heated room and less of a burden on the furnace.

Firebacks are also available, and are usually a plate of cast iron or stainless steel that reflects the fire’s heat back into the living space. Newer fireplace designs may feature a firebox that can burn much more cleanly and can offer as much as 80 percent efficiency in heating the room’s air.

There may also be a high-temperature glass window and a heavy masonry structure around the firebox that can provide radiant heat for hours.

  • Modern fireplace designs incorporate a number of safety features as well as enhanced structural stability. Many now feature a metal-lined flue, with a double or even triple layer of metal pipe that runs up the chimney.

Most newer fireplaces are masonry, with a brick or stone hearth and mantle that can provide a great accent and focal point for any room.

Fireplace Remodeling Ideas

Materials are everything when it comes to remodeling a fireplace and complementing the rest of the room. Consider brightening up a drab brick fireplace and hearth with colorful tile and a glass door, or maybe some brass hardware for the firebox.

It’s often a good idea to incorporate some storage for firewood as well, which saves you having to make trips outside to the woodpile in weather where you’d really rather be indoors.

A marble surround can be a great facelift for a dingy stone fireplace, and many homeowners are now putting flat-screen TVs and entertainment systems on the wall above the hearth. This is an especially great idea for a corner fireplace, as you can arrange the rest of the room around the fireplace and TV.

Depending on what the rest of your décor is, a found piece of agricultural or industrial equipment (such as a pulley, a section of window, a gear set or a sickle) can make a great accent over the fireplace mantel and can provide a rustic, interesting touch.

For a traditional drawing-room sort of mood, many have opted for a hunting trophy over the mantel, and of course a mirror and a row of books and knickknacks or collectibles have long been a favorite for dressing up a fireplace mantel.

Fireplace Safety 

It’s important to remember fireplace safety whenever you’re considering a remodel or a fireplace installation.

  • If you can, leave a window cracked a little whenever a fire is burning. This can help prevent carbon monoxide from building up in the room.
  • Leave the damper open while starting the fire, and make sure it remains open until the fire dies out. Never close the damper until the embers are completely cold.
  • Only burn dried, aged wood. Green or wet wood can cause a buildup of soot in the chimney and will produce an excessive amount of smoke.
  • Remember that a smaller piece of wood will burn more quickly and will produce less smoke than bigger logs.
  • Always keep the area around the fireplace clear of anything that could be flammable. That includes books, magazines, furniture, drapes, toys, etc.
  • Make sure your house is equipped with both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and be sure to check them yearly.
  • Never leave a fire burning overnight. Make sure the embers are completely cold before going to bed.

A fireplace is a special feature and adds so much to any house. Take some of these ideas and use them for your own fireplace and mantel!

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